A Chinese woman was arrested for posing online as a renowned TV news anchor and conning her friend in a love scam.
Arrested by the Shanghai police, a middle-aged woman surnamed Yu reportedly admitted to posing as a well-known TV news anchor and scamming her close friend, surnamed Li, out of about 2 million yuan (approximately $287,000). When asked for her motive, Yu pointed to a passing comment Li’s mother had made.
The victim’s mother allegedly had joked that Yu would struggle to find a husband due to her appearance and financial situation. Upon hearing this, Yu decided to take revenge to ensure her friend would suffer the same fate,
Years later, Yu bragged about her charming and single TV news anchor friend to the mother, who asked her to introduce the man to her daughter. After creating a false social media presence as the news anchor, Yu messaged Li.
Li and the “TV anchor” later connected via a mobile number, with their relationship quickly becoming romantic.
As their relationship progressed, Li would attempt to meet her boyfriend in person. However, Yu managed to delay their meeting with excuses of work, sickness, business trips and more. Although Li was suspicious when watching the actual TV anchor’s appearances, Yu managed to continuously restore her faith in their “relationship.”
Although scamming and defrauding wasn’t Yu’s initial plan when she began tricking Li, her illness and financial crisis in 2018 pushed her to use the online persona as a means of income. Despite never meeting her online partner throughout their relationship, Li was reportedly taken with the “celebrity” anchor and willingly gifted him money, according to South China Morning Post.
Regardless of her financial stability later on, Yu — as the TV news anchor — continued to manipulate Li for money, receiving nearly 2 million yuan.
As Li fell into debt and made the decision to confront her “boyfriend,” Yu finally confessed the whole truth to her friend on Nov. 20 — 12 years after the catfishing had begun.
Upon Li filing a complaint with the police, Yu was arrested and an investigation was started.